Friday, 24 July 2009

Can Mobile Broadband Help The Govenment Provide 'Broadband For All'?

The Government has pledged to provide 'broadband for all' by 2012 as part of the Digital Britain project. They believe that broadband is essential for everyone from school children to big business in order to strengthen the economy and reduce poverty. Children from homes without an internet connection tend to get, on average, lower grades. Businesses need fast connections in order to compete with the global market.

At the recent Broadband For All seminar Phil Sheppard, who is the Director of Technical Solutions at Three, said that he believes that Mobile Broadband can be used to get the country connected. He suggested that if Mobile Broadband providers were given access to more of the digital spectrum they would be able to create enough high-speed coverage to help the Government to reach their goal.

“Mobile Broadband tends to be capable and commercially capable of providing the 2Mbps broadband universal service commitment and is an extremely efficient way of doing it. It is very cost effective, it actually doesn’t need government funding, what it needs is access to spectrum, that’s the key”.
The allocation of empty areas of the spectrum (such as that which will be freed up by the switch from analogue television) is causing a lot of debate amongst mobile broadband companies. Hopefully the Government and the Digital Britain Group will take the bait and work with the providers to increase coverage and speed. Those in rural areas could benefit greatly if more of the digital spectrum is given over to Mobile Broadband.

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